The term ‘Social Justice Warrior’ is one that has always puzzled me, not only does it sound bizarrely epic like some kind of gaudy Power Ranger team up but also the inherent hyperbole in it suggests that it is a crude and impossible concept to be mocked, which I suppose could also be said of the Power Rangers. But what puzzles me most about this label which has amassed such toxicity in online communities and in their language, is that at its core it is describing someone or their train of thought in attempting to enter a discourse of progression and ultimately a discussion of how things within the realms of society, media, culture, politics and everything in between can be flawed, regressive or conflicted and complex in their own language and ideals. And for me, I honestly don’t see how that is such a thing to be reviled and scorned with such ferocity and indignation.

For example, discussions of gender representation in games, in what was once a stereotypically male focussed spectrum, and how they could be improved or why they have ended up being structured in the ways that they have. Discussions like these can only serve to open up and examine the concepts and constructions of these characters and diversify the range and styles of characters that we receive and open up their complexity and audiences. With that notion in mind, I find it difficult to understand why then people attempting to engage in these discussions, or so help them question or critique something such as gender, female representation or sexuality (to name but a few) are then so vehemently attacked or undermined for such concepts or discussions. Even more baffling to me is that when something is changed against the assumed hegemonic social norm, for example with the Ghostbusters remake using an all-female main cast, that it is suddenly the fault of those labelled so ungraciously as ‘SJW’s’. I have seen no end to online comments condemning the studios or whomever to bowing to the ‘pressure’ of SJWs or that it’s all SJW’s fault that such a horrific thing ever could happen to the precious treasure that was the original (and I love the original Ghostbusters and of course am nostalgic with it, but funnily enough tits not actually gone anywhere and hasn’t been tarnished in anyway like some people seem to think). That whole concept of entitled pandering seems entirely ridiculous to me, of course studios or whomever are going to try and approach a broader audience, they’re main goal is of course to make as much money as possible, but that doesn’t mean that just because it may have adjusted it’s address of certain concerns or topics that its bending to some unholy vigilante force who are the bane of all existence.  And in crying wolf that they are pandering to a certain audience, you are also hypocritically crying for them to instead to pander to you and your ideals instead. 

Published by Rebecca Elise